Public Health Laws And Policies
Public Health Laws and Policies
It is not a secret or some innovative idea that all healthcare services should be properly regulated. Many laws are adopted worldwide to provide proper control of medical issues. All civilized states are engaged in this process. The USA also has a system of public health laws and a certain number of associated policies. In order for this legislation and strategies to become effective, they should be respected and accepted by medical professionals as useful guidelines for managing their work. U.S. public health laws and policies have a significant potential for improving the American healthcare system in case of close cooperation between lawyers and medical specialists and support of the international community.
Analyzing U.S. public health laws and policies, it is important to define a public health law and discuss its origin. Thus, this field focuses on legal practice, scholarship and advocacy in case of issues involving the governments legal authority and duties to ensure the conditions for people to be healthy (Partnership for Public Health Law, n.d.). The scope of public health laws and policies is wide and differs from the legal resolution of individual conflicts to ethical issues of the healthcare policy of the entire state. Legal regulations play a vitally important role in controlling numerous health aspects, such as epidemiology, food and water quality, injury prevention and many others. Legal sources of public health laws and policies in the USA are the Constitution, its legislation and international agreements (Partnership for Public Health Law, n.d.). Therefore, such regulations should be legally grounded and effective to protect interests of society.
Public health laws originate numerous policies, which are aimed at improving the quality of life of citizens and resolve their health issues. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (2015) state that a health policy is based on both a law and a procedure. It comments that the health of our nation can be influenced by public health policies, such as a tobacco control policy (Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, 2015). The organization is sure that implementing effective transportation and nutrition policies promotes physical activities and healthy diet among people. The U.S. government has also developed some health policies, which work in case of natural emergencies or terrorist attacks (Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, 2015). Thus, public health laws and policies are a single mechanism, all components of which are interrelated.
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Though the nature and sources of the public health legislation are clear, there exists a major conflict related to their functioning. It lies in the fact that it is not so easy to make public health laws transdisciplinary regulations, which should be applicable for solving legal issues of public healthcare and should have an equal force for medical specialists and lawyers. The failure to integrate laws into public health creates unavoidable gaps in policy and the translation of evidence into widely deployed legal interventions and reforms (Burris, Ashe, Levin, Penn, & Larkin, 2016). Burris et al. (2016) state that a condition necessary for the highest level of productivity of a public law is health professionals accepting them as as a mode of behavioral and environmental influence (p. 17). Therefore, in spite of the fact that public health laws and policies are developed to regulate healthcare issues, they are still not an integral part of the medical system.
It is possible to offer an effective solution to the discussed issue. First of all, it is needed to develop standard tools for productive cooperation between healthcare specialists and lawyers. If the former make their offers to the issues they want to change and control better, the latter can provide correct legal frameworks for these aspects. Moreover, the USA is not the only state in the world, which strives to make its public health laws function properly. Nowadays globalization creates significant barriers to the possibility of national governments to control health issues independently within the state borders. Traditional approaches to public health regulations do not bring about any positive results. Therefore, there is a need to discuss some international health laws for all existing civilized states (Taylor, 2008). It is widely recognized that contemporary globalization is contributing to the expansion of the field of international public health law (Taylor, 2008, p. 669). The USA has a chance to legally bind itself to international public health regulations, guiding the local lawyers and medical professionals. The USA and other countries will share their experience in solving numerous healthcare issues, and the process of implementing reforms will take less time and efforts. The solutions mentioned above are two steps of a single process. First of all, U.S. healthcare specialists and lawyers should establish close cooperation, and the next step will be elaborating plans and proposals for an international public health law and present them to the world community.
To conclude, it is possible to state that public health laws and policies should become an integral part of the U.S. legislation and be valid for all healthcare specialists. There are certain contradictions between lawyers and medical workers as to the way of interpreting these laws, in what cases they are applicable, and how to make everybody observe them. The process of making this legislation transdisciplinary is aimed at facilitating access to healthcare services, as well as solving and preventing any issues related to the community health. Some useful recommendations to reach these goals include close cooperation between U.S. lawyers and healthcare specialists and the development of international health laws for the entire civilized world.
- CDC - Public Health Policy - STLT Gateway